What Wikileaks means for the Muslim World?: Saudi Arabia Exposed, Turkey Ascendent, Iran under seige...
Muqtedar Khan, Huffington Post, Nov 28, 2010
WikiLeaks is in the process of dramatically transforming foreign affairs and international relations. It is revealing over 250,000 cables from US embassies worldwide to the State department and other classified documents. The consequences of this 'mega-scoop' will be very far reaching indeed.
For the United States the issues are both strategic as well as ethical. On a strategic level the leaks -- which expose frank assessment of foreign leaders by senior American officials and American thinking on many critical issues -- will complicate Obama administration's ability to deal with its allies and may increase global cynicism about US intentions.
Many of the allies will be angry and distrustful. They will also be afraid of being candid in the future. All players in the future will be trying to second-guess each other, unwilling to articulate what their real intentions and goals are. After all, nobody wishes to read a summary of their confidential dialogue with Americans in the New York Times. The revelations may also reverse many of the hard earned diplomatic gains made by the State department over the years in acquiring support for US policies from many nations.
On the ethical level, the key question is: What will the American public do with the knowledge that the US government has allies who are known criminals; that it says one thing in public and pursues another policy in reality; that bullying seems to be a standard operating procedure and intervening in every affair seems to be a natural instinct of US foreign policy. Will the Senate, or the House, call for hearings to hold the administration accountable? Will there be a public outcry?
The revelations so far about the Muslim world are eye opening. Muslims, even some American Muslims have raised criticism of American foreign policy to the level of religious ritual. Often Muslim radicalism and alienation is explained as a direct consequence of US foreign policy alone (the point being that US foreign policy is anti-Islam and subversive to Muslim nations). Therefore Muslim anger and radicalism against the U.S. while often expressed in unjustifiable ways is still understandable.
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